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Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show airing live every Monday night from 3-4 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineers are Abraham and Nibu.Today’s show is a fundraising show, so, with apologies, we can’t take on-air phone calls,
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For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:
- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
“Our colleagues aren’t upset because you lied to Congress for the president. They’re upset because you’ve stopped lying to Congress for the president.” ~ Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., (Feb 27 2019, 1:05 pm ET, as per NBCNews.com) opened his allotted time to question Cohen’s response to a Republican line of attack on Cohen that has run throughout the day. (Republicans have repeatedly highlighted Cohen’s past lying to Congress, which he has admitted and pleaded guilty to. Cohen says he lied to help Trump, but Republicans have questioned whether he lied to help himself.)
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- OPINION: Michael Conway – Whether Trump obstructed justice isn’t the attorney general’s call to make. It’s Congress’ decision. The Mueller report didn’t draw a conclusion about any obstruction of justice. Barr needs to show the evidence on which he based his decision., By Michael Conway, Former counsel, U.S. House Judiciary Committee | COM | March 25, 2019, 10:36 AM CDT
- Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of the “principal conclusions” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’ still-secret report, released on Sunday, engages in sleight-of-hand when finding that President Donald Trump did not engage in criminal obstruction of justice.
- Mueller made no such conclusion. Rather, Trump’s hand-picked attorney general, William Barr, in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, decided that the evidence found by Mueller was insufficient to convict Trump beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial.
- Mueller apparently adhered to the principle of seeking “just the facts.” And facts matter: Neither Congress nor the public know the facts found by Mueller regarding obstruction of justice. A White House that famously promulgated a theory of “alternative facts” will find that the actual facts found by Mueller’s investigation matter. …
- Indeed, Barr’s letter acknowledges that Mueller “describe[d] the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any conclusion.” Thus, the validity of Barr’s conclusion that Trump should not be indicted for obstruction of justice can only be tested if the full Mueller report is made public. The House of Representatives could well reach a different conclusion based upon those facts in deciding whether Trump should be impeached for obstruction of justice. …
- … The Mueller report’s apparent similarity to the 1974 statements of information is striking: He developed and organized the facts, as the impeachment inquiry staff did, leaving it to decision-makers to reach their conclusions.
- But that Barr has unsurprisingly reached one conclusion does not foreclose Congress from reaching the opposite conclusion. Whether Congress will have that opportunity depends entirely on whether Mueller’s report and the evidence underlying it will be made available to the House of Representatives. …
- … In words as pertinent and powerful today as in 1974, Judge Sirica ruled that the grand jury secrecy rule did not prevent delivery of the grand jury report and evidence to the Judiciary Committee.“[W]e deal in a matter of the most critical moment to the nation, an impeachment investigation involving the President of the United States,” he wrote. “It would be difficult to conceive of a more compelling need than that of this country for an unswervingly fair inquiry based on all the pertinent information.” …
- Taking this cue, the 2019 House of Representatives would be well served to direct the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry. The special constitutional obligation of Congress to conduct impeachment provides the strongest argument for the courts to order the release of the full Mueller report, if Barr balks at doing so.
- Importantly, the Founders believed that the impeachment power of Congress should be readily available if the president engages in acts — even if they are not criminal acts — that undermine the separation of powers or constitute a presidential abuse of power.
- Even leaving aside the investigations of federal and state prosecutors in New York and elsewhere, President Trump is premature in claiming his exoneration by Barr’s letter. Congress, the public and history are entitled to decide if Mueller’s recitation of facts warrants the indictment or impeachment of President Trump for obstruction of justice.
- [Michael Conway served as counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in the impeachment inquiry of President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. In that role, he assisted in drafting the committee’s final report to the House of Representatives in support of the three Articles of Impeachment adopted by the committee. Conway is a graduate of Yale Law School, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a retired partner of Foley & Lardner LLP in Chicago.]
- Stormy Daniels’ ex-lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested for alleged $20 million extortion scheme against Nike, embezzling client’s money, defrauding bank – Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is being charged with wire and bank fraud, federal authorities said Monday – A press conference is scheduled to discuss the charges against Avenatti in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon – Avenatti had represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen. BY Dan Mangan | @_DanMangan | https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/25/michael-avenatti-to-be-charged-with-wire-and-bank-fraud.html | 3-25-2019, Published 48 Mins Ago Updated 2 Mins Ago
- Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday on charges that he tried to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to hurt that athletic apparel giant financially with negative publicity.
- Avenatti also is charged in a separate federal case out of Los Angeles, where he is accused of embezzling a client’s money “in order to pay his own expense and debts,” and of “defrauding a bank in Mississippi,” prosecutors said.
- Avenatti had represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen related to a non-disclosure agreement she had signed on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump in exchange for a $130,000 payment.
- Avenatti, 48, was busted in Midtown Manhattan at 12:30 p.m. by FBI agents, about 15 minutes after he tweeted that he would be disclosing a big high school and college basketball scandal “perpetrated by” Nike that he supposedly had uncovered.
- A press conference is scheduled to discuss the charges against Avenatti in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. Avenatti is due to be presented in Manhattan federal court on Monday….
- No response from Avenatti at this time.
- Father of Sandy Hook victim Avielle Richman dead of apparent suicide, By Bob Fredericks, | March 25, 2019 | COM | 11:31am | Updated
- The father of one of the 20 kids massacred in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 in Newtown, Conn., was found dead Monday in an apparent suicide, cops said.
- Jeremy Richman, the 49-year-old dad of little Avielle Richman, was found dead outside Edmond Town Hall — a white clapboard structure that sits directly in the center of the picturesque New England town — about 7 a.m. Monday, police said.
- “The death appears to be a suicide, but police will not disclose the method or any other details of the death, only to state the death does not to appear to be suspicious,” Newtown police said on the department’s Facebook page. …
- … The apparent suicide came days after two Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors killed themselves, and suicide prevention experts were urging troubled people to seek help. …
- Russian troops land in Venezuela: reports, By Zack Budryk – | THE HILL |03/25/19 09:16 AM EDT
- Two Russian Air Force planes landed in Venezuela carrying nearly 100 troops and a Russian defense official, according to Reuters.
- Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 indicated an Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane both departed from Russian military airport Chkalovsky for Caracas on Friday, according to the news service.
- The two nations conducted military exercises on Venezuelan soil three months ago, which President Nicolás Maduro praised as an indicator of stronger ties between the two countries, according to Reuters.
- Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, was on the first plane, according to a tweet from Venezuelan reporter Javier Mayorca, while the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 metric tons of unspecified materials.
- ULTIMA HORA Esta tarde llegó al aeropuerto de Maiquetía una comitiva de 99 militares rusos, al mando del ministro de la Defensa del país mayor gral Vasilly Tonkoshkurov. Fueron recibidos en rampa presidencial por la VA Marianny Mata,dir Asuntos Internacionales e Integración(1/2)
- — Javier I. Mayorca (@javiermayorca) March 24, 2019
- A Venezuelan official toldThe Associated Press that Russian military officials visited the nation to discuss training, strategy and equipment.
- Last week, U.S. and Russian officials held talks on Venezuela but remained split on the legitimacy of Maduro’s government. Russia backs Maduro, who took office in 2013, while the U.S. was one of the first nations to recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.